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Empower Cash Advance review

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Empower Cash Advance
Min. Amount
$10
Max. Amount
$250
Turnaround time
Same day, instant delivery available

Our verdict

Solid option for those with Empower memberships. May not be a good fit for everyone else.

Empower is best for people needing an occasional small cash boost. Its cash advance option starts at $10, and if you meet checking account balance and income requirements, you could borrow up to $250 per pay period.

Empower is a relatively simple cash advance app, and requirements to qualify for the full $250 advance have loosened over time. However, there are multiple complaints about Empower’s customer service and mobile app — with many customers reporting billing errors, low cash advance amounts and inexplicable bugs that make the app unusable for withdrawing cash.

To be sure you’re getting the best deal check out other cash advance options before downloading the Empower app.

Pros

  • Same-day or instant delivery to an Empower checking account
  • No late fees
  • No credit check
  • Automatic repayment on next pay day

Cons

  • Strict eligibility requirements
  • Negative customer reviews

In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Details
    • Product details
  • Your reviews
  • Ask a question

Details

Product details

Product Name Empower Cash Advance
Min. Amount $10
Max. Amount $250
Loan Term Repay automatically at a specified date.
Turnaround Time Same day, instant delivery available
Requirements Be 18 years old or older, Hold a bank account with a U.S. financial institution, Have a mobile phone number that can operate in the U.S. and can receive SMS messages. For cash advance: Eligibility considerations include income and checking account balance.

Empower overview

Empower doesn’t provide much information about how its service works online. It states you can borrow between $25 and $250, but doesn’t explain how a user can qualify for these amounts.

Features

In addition to a fee-based instant transfer service, it has two free options for receiving funds: transferring your advance to your Empower debit card in minutes or via ACH into your paycheck account typically within one business day.

Requirements

Empower doesn’t clearly state what its eligibility requirements are online and customer service refused to provide any detailed information to me without an account. The company does state it will increase your limit over time as long as you pay back your cash advances on time, but not much else.

Expect to meet these general requirements to get an Empower cash advance:

  • Be 18 years old or older
  • Hold a bank account with a U.S. financial institution
  • Have a cell number that operates in the U.S. and can receive texts
  • For cash advance: Eligibility includes income level and checking account balance

While an account with Empower isn’t required, you’ll only be able to get same-day advances to an Empower checking account.

Other features

In addition to a cash advance, Empower also has a checking account, automatic savings program, budget tracking and personalized financial recommendations. These features are all included with its $8 monthly membership fee.

The company also offers an Empower Thrive revolving line of credit. It allows eligible members to start with a $250 revolving line of credit that can increase to $1,000 with a history of on-time payments. The APR is 0% if you pay your balance off before your paycheck, but charges a whopping 35.99% APR if you don’t.

Empower reviews and complaints

BBB accredited No
BBB rating D
BBB customer reviews 2.33 out of 5 stars, based on 6 customer reviews
BBB customer complaints 34 customer complaints
Trustpilot Score 2.8 out of 5 stars, based on 3 customer reviews
App Store Score 4.8 out of 5 stars, based on 51,816 customer reviews
Google Play Score 4.7 out of 5 stars, based on 46,771 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of 07 September 2022

The Empower app generally receives high marks on Google Play and the App Store. But a disproportionate number of customers have left negative reviews mentioning bugs with the app, inexplicably low cash advance amounts and multiple billing errors. Others report canceling the service and getting billed the monthly fee anyways.

More satisfied customers also mention running into bugs, but say they like the ability to track their spending and budgeting in one place. But the overall trend of recent reviews on Google Play and the App Stores tends towards the negative, with some positive reviews mixed in.

Empower Cash Advance vs. payday loans

Empower is a short-term solution like a payday loan, but the cost to use it is limited — and the app comes with other useful services that payday loans lack.

Amount

Up to $250 per pay period

Typically up to $1,000, and most states allow only one at a time

Turnaround time

Same day

Typically next business day

Application process

Sign up through mobile app by connecting to bank account

Simple online application, typically requires Social Security number and bank account numbers

Costs

$8 monthly membership fee

High interest rate that can equal fees of $15 to $25 per $100 borrowed

Availability

Anywhere in the US

Prohibited in some states

Is Empower safe?

In general, yes — but no app can guarantee your information stays 100% secure. However, Empower’s checking and savings accounts are backed up to $250,000 by nbkc bank, Member FDIC. It also uses Plaid, a third-party service and industry-standard security measure, when you connect your current bank account through the app.

But pay attention to user complaints against Empower and its lack of response. While these aren’t necessarily red flags, they could mean it doesn’t take customer concerns as seriously as similar apps and services.

Is Empower worth it?

If you’re already interested in Empower’s banking options and financial advisor tools, using its cash advance option is simply another benefit. But with many negative reviews about problems with the app and low cash advance amounts — Empower may not be the right choice for people who need higher amounts advanced before pay day and a clearer path to qualifying.

Before you sign up and switch your money over, consider top apps like Empower and learn more about your options.

See other cash advance apps

Compare how Empower stacks up against even more cash advance apps.

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Cleo
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Cleo
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Automatically monitor your spending plus access cash advances up to $100 at a time.
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Albert
Up to $250
2–3 business days or instant for a fee
$14.99 monthly subscription to access overdraft protection
Get up to $250 overdraft protection if you sign up for Albert’s banking app.
Brigit
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Brigit
Up to $250
1 to 3 business days or instantly with a fee
$8.99 monthly membership fee, up to $3.99 in express fees
Have up to $250 automatically deposited into your account — for a $8.99 membership fee.
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